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How do I deal with my problematic neighbor?

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How do I deal with my problematic neighbor?

Postby redhaus » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:00 am

I've been renting a one-bedroom apartment for the past six months. Things were fine, but now my upstairs neighbor seems to have gone off the deep end and it's now affecting my apartment.

The neighbor, an older man who I've never seen, was described by the superintendent to me as a "crazy old man" who never leaves his apartment or answers his door. Starting last a month a huge leak has been coming from his apartment and leaking through my ceiling...right over my bed. What's even scarier is that the leak is spreading and is now right over two electrical outlets (which I've now covered), and the ceiling is now even buckling in that area.

The super has tried to get into this man's apartment to fix the leak, but the man refuses to answer the door, even though he's home 24/7. I've knocked on his door loudly a bunch of times thinking, he's hard of hearing, but he's never answered. Meanwhile this leak is growing larger and larger; it's almost three feet in diameter right now and I have dump a bucket of water each day.

At this point my super insists there's nothing he can do; if the man won't answer his door, the leak cannot be fixed, and the super doesn't want to keep trying. I talked to a couple of other neighbors who say they've never seen guy and don't know anything about him.

Do I have recourse here? Or is this just one of those NYC quirks I have to get used to? (I should probably mention that I'm beginning to think it's true this man is not well, mentally. He wakes up around 5AM and spends literally the entire day sliding his furniture from one side of his apartment to the other and throwing and slamming objects against the floor and walls pretty much all day and all night)
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:56 am

Your recourse is to contact the landlord. The super may feel he's limited, but the LL is legally responsible.

First, document the condition. Take photos. Write the LL. If no response, write certified mail and then make a complaint to 311 and get an inspector. The LL won't like that, which - depending on the LL - make sure you've approached him first.

There are other options, including filing a HP Action in court, withholding rent, etc.

Unless he has his food delivered, this neighbor has to go out sometime.
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Postby Emeraldstar » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:57 pm

Hi All
I agree with TN to document by pics however if your emptying a bucket a day & covering outlets that's a lot of leak & possiably dangerous. I would notify the LL by overnight express mail/signature & request they come see for themself the damage. Have a friend or neighbor with you on the day the LL arrives as a witness. Then give them a chance to correct. If nothing gets done then you should persue the other options TN mentioned. Also keep a detailed record of items that get damaged you may need that for insurance or a small claims case.
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